Kotick: Talks commitment to excellence at DICE

Thursday, 18 February 2010 20:42 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Activision CEO Bobby Kotick took the stage at DICE during a panel called “How Creative Talent Drives the Video Game Industry” today.

In it, he talked a bit about the company’s “commitment to excellence”, his regret over not purchasing Harmonix, and how his famous comment regarding “taking the fun out of videogames” was taken out of context.

“Sometimes that commitment to excellence, well, you can come across as a dick,” he said. “When I said that you need to take the fun out of video games, that was targeted to investors – I wanted to convey that that we know what we’re doing – it wasn’t just some wild west of creating video games.

“I obviously didn’t mean we want to take the fun out of making them.

“All the really good development teams know the importance of [the] process and they know the importance of discipline, and they can have fun doing it.”

During his talk, Kotick also chatted a bit about where he got his start, his love for old Atari games, and how at one time he worked for EA during the 80s.

He also mentioned that in retrospect, he wishes Activison had purchased Harmonix.

“When we were buying Guitar Hero and buying RedOctane, the makers of Guitar Hero, we knew about Harmonix, he said (via G4). “We had always known them as sort of a somewhat failed developer of music games. They always had really good ideas, but nothing that was really commercially viable until Guitar Hero and at first we thought, ‘okay, it’s a good piece of software, but if we gave it to Neversoft, they’re going to knock the ball out of the park with this.’

“We really didn’t even think ‘hey, we should go to Boston and meet these Harmonix guys and see what they’re up to, and of course, had we gone, I think the world of Guitar Hero would have been rewritten and it would be a lot different today and probably a profitable opportunity for both of us and an opportunity where you’d have even more innovation in the category.”

Still, Kotick said that Activision is proud that the studios that it has bought or merged with, and how each have been able to retain a lot of creative freedom.

1UP liveblogged the short talk, and you can read the full thing through the link there.